Skip to Page Content


    Certification Committee

    Committe Chair

    Debbie Callaghan, MS


    The Certification Committee assists HR professionals interested in obtaining and/or retaining the desired HR certification through study preparation groups, opportunities for recertification credits, and programs of scholarships and sponsorships. Certifications are offered through SHRM for the SHRMSCP/CP certifications or Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI) for the PHR, SPHR, GPHR certifications. 

    We welcome your questions regarding certification...we are here to help!

    What's new in Certification?

    Many WHRMA members have had questions regarding their current Professional HR Certification, and what their next steps should be, with both SHRM and HRCI offering multiple HR designations. Please find some tools that will provide information to assist with the decision making process.

    Please visit the following websites for more information:

    SHRM-CP/SCP Exam Preparation Courses

    Pace University Evening Sessions - Contact Instructor Greg Chartier,SPHR, SHRM-SCP

       Pace Registration Page Link

    Fordham University Saturday Sessions - Contact Instructor Grant Schneider, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

       Fordham Registration Page Link

    WHRMA Scholarship Program

    From time to time, WHRMA, with the generous support from our dedicated partner, Jackson Lewis, offers a WHRMA Certification Scholarship Program. Details will be posted when the next window opens to apply for the WHRMA Certification Scholarship. 

    Certification News/Articles

    Recent correspondence from SHRM's President & CEO (11/15/16)

    Dear SHRM Members,

    SHRM is proud to announce that the SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP exams have been accredited by The Buros Center for Testing, a pronouncement that the HR credentials meet the highest standards in testing.  

    Here is a link to SHRM’s official news announcement; please share with your work colleagues and HR networks.

    The Buros Center is the premier test review center located at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln; it accredited SHRM Certification less than two years after the credentials were launched.

    The Buros Center has reviewed or accredited other well-known tests, including major state educational achievement exams; admissions tests for medical school, law school and graduate school; and licensure exams for physical therapists, clinicians and technicians. To learn more about The Buros Center for Testing visit

    To achieve accreditation, SHRM submitted a 1,900-page application documenting its testing practices, methodology and policy. The thorough review process took six months to complete and included site visits of SHRM and its testing vendors. 

    Since the launch of the SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP two years ago, SHRM has worked to gain recognition as the global standard in HR certification. Achieving accreditation further demonstrates to HR professionals and their employers that SHRM-certified professionals meet the high standards expected and needed in HR today. 

    We celebrate this milestone with more than 96,000 SHRM--certified professionals, the fastest-growing HR certification community. The SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP are the most widely-taken HR exams in the world. 

    SHRM’s commitment to excellence in HR certification does not end with accreditation; it is a reflection of our continued dedication to advancing the profession. 
    Visit to learn more. 

    Best regards,
    Henry G. Jackson
    President & CEO
    Society for Human Resource Management

    Article:  Want to Get Paid More?

    So you’re an HR professional and stuck—like many others—in a period of slow income growth. Short of changing careers, what is the best strategy for advancing in the field and earning a bigger payday? Many experts agree that education, certification and other forms of training are the answer. I have long believed that certification is a must for all HR professionals, regardless of economic conditions,” says Ronald Pilenzo, Ph.D., SPHR, a former president and COO of the Society for Human Resource Management. “It is a measure of one’s competency. If I were going to be hiring someone and I had a large pool to select from, I would favor those with the certification.”

    Pilenzo, president and CEO of Hobe Sound, Fla.-based The Global HR Consultancy, adds that HR professionals should earn these certifications even before they enter the field. He thinks it’s no different from a professional certification from the American Bar Association, the American Medical Association or the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

    Some HR professionals may want to study business-related curricula, such as through an MBA program, says Nicole Dessain, owner of Nicole Dessain Consulting in Evanston, Ill.

    “Certification can’t hurt, but what’s more advantageous for a bigger salary is a business degree,” she says. Any kind of training that covers areas beyond an HR generalist’s responsibilities would be beneficial for career advancement and gains in compensation, says Dawn Adams, PHR, president of HResults, a human resource consulting firm based in the Milwaukee area. HR professionals who are well-versed in health care reform will be in demand for the foreseeable future, Adams says, as well as those with expertise in legal compliance. “Anything that gives you more tools for the toolbox is helpful,” she says.

    Above all, HR professionals or those who hope to enter the field should be patient when mapping out a career, says Wendy Russell, a human capital and total rewards consultant with Deloitte in Chicago. Certification, business training and experience on the job are more important than chasing a big payday, she says. “Some folks will only look at career opportunities with the highest pay,” Russell says. “If you really are trying to build a career, I would recommend stability in lower positions for at least a year or two, particularly during down cycles, as a learning experience. The payoff will be even greater.”

    (HR Magazine, December 2013. "A New Normal" by Joseph Coombs)

    Certification Information

    Eligibility Requirements (Eff 2011)

    Eligibility FAQs for HR Certification Exams

    SHRM Learning System

    To learn more about the certification, visit the HRCI website at

    Several universities in the area provide classes to help prepare for the certification exams. These universities include the following:  (revised 12/2016)

    Find a SHRM Learning System College/University program in your area

    Recertification Information
    Who Is Certified?

    Certified HR Professionals are effectively managing and leading a broad range of organizations, from multinational corporations to family-owned businesses, for-profit to nonprofit, publicly traded to government operated.

    Certified HR Professionals are dedicated leaders, willing mentors and trusted strategic partners, serving both their organizations and their profession.

    Today more than 130,000+ HR professionals in more than 100 countries proudly maintain the HR Certification Institute's credentials as a mark of high professional distinction.

    Career-Committed HR Professionals

    • 8% VP and Above
    • 21% Director
    • 33% Manager
    • 38% Specialist Roles
    Once I've Obtained My Certification, How Do I Maintain It?

    HRCI requires PHR and SPHR holders to either retake and pass the certification exam every three years, or obtain 60 recertification credits during the three years after passing the exam. SHRM will also require SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP holders to do the same.  You can attend approved meetings, conferences, and events as one way to earn recertification credits. All of WHRMA's professional development programs are eligible for Recertification Credit Hours (RCH). Information on each event will list the number of credit hours you can earn for attending the program. Look for the HRCI "Approved for Credit" symbol and the SHRM approved logo on the "Events" page next to those events approved to receive the appropriate recertification credit.

    Recertification Credit Hours

    Have you attended one of our WHRMA programs and forgot to pick up the recertification credit hours number?  We can provide the number to you after we verify your attendance.  Please contact Debbie.

    Volunteer Opportunities

    We are always seeking volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering for the Certification Committee, please contact Debbie.